Thousands of Torontonians pass this building daily, and few probably even notice it. The Studio Building is adjacent to Ellis Portal, through which the Yonge subway trains run. It’s the earliest purpose-built artist studio in Canada, and so significant that the Canadian government recently erected a red and gold plaque.
Many of the greatest Canadian painters lived and worked here – including A. Y. Jackson, Frederick Varley, Lawren Harris, Harold Town, J. E. H. MacDonald, Tom Thomson, and several others. Tom Thomson’s shack stood in behind, before being moved to the McMichael Gallery, Kleinberg, where it’s now a Group of Seven artist’s “shrine”. <PHOTOS BELOW – Tom Thomson, A.Y. Jackson and Lawren Harris>